Shakshuka has been on my mind for the last couple of weeks. I’ve been annoying my boyfriend with talking about this dish twice a day, I even sent him pictures found on the internet to show him how mouthwatering this dish with its vibrant colours would be. He wasn’t impressed and thought it would just be baked eggs with peppers. When I made this dish for lunch today it was everything I hoped it would be, maybe even better. The peppers and onions are full of flavour because of the many herbs that go in this dish and the eggs are cooked till just set, but with the yolks still runny. Of course he also loved it.
Recipe from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi.
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
180 ml light oil of vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced
2 red and 2 yellow peppers, cit into 2cm strips
4 tsp muscovado sugar
2 bay leaves
6 thyme springs, leaves picked and chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped coriander, plus extra to garnish
6 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp saffron threads
pinch of cayenne pepper
up to 250 ml water
8 free-range eggs
salt and black pepper
In a very large pan dry-roast the cumin seeds on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the oil and onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the peppers, sugar and herbs and continue cooking on a high heat for 5-10 minutes to get a nice colour.
Add the tomatoes, saffron, cayenne and some salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. During the cooking keep adding water so that the mix has a pasta sauce consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. It should be potent and flavoursome. (You can prepare this mix well in advance.)
Remove the bay leaves, then divide the pepper mix among four deep frying pans, each large enough to take a generous individual portion. Place them on a medium heat to warm up, then make two gaps in the pepper mix in each pan and carefully break an egg into each gap. Sprinkle with salt and cover the pans with lids. Cook on a very (!) gentle heat for 10-12 minutes, or until the eggs are just set. Sprinkle with coriander and serve.